# What are profile drag, parasite drag, induced drag and wave drag ?

What are profile drag, parasite drag, induced drag and wave drag ?

Asked on 30th October 2020 in

Parasite drag :  Induced drag is the drag which results from the lift force which is produced by an aircraft in flight. Parasite drag is the combination of pressure drag and skin friction drag. It is called parasite drag because it is not produced on generation of lift and so parasite in nature. Pressure drag also known as Form drag is caused due to the boundary layer separation which in turn depends on the shape of the object. Skin friction drag is caused due to the skin friction between the object and the moving fluid, that is air, which comes in  contact.

Profile drag : Profile drag is the same term for parasite drag when it is used for an aircraft’s wing.

Induced drag : Induced drag which is also called drag due to lift, is produced due to the redirection of airflow which results in generation of vortex. It occurs on lift generating surfaces like aircraft’s wing. The generation of vortex results in downwash.  Amount of induced downwash affects the induced drag.

Drag components

Wave drag : Wave drag is the drag which is produced when there is a formation of shock waves. Shock waves are produced when  aircraft is flying at a transonic or supersonic speed. Wave drag is a sudden increase in drag when the aircraft speed crosses critical mach number. Sound barrier is a result of wave drag.